Spurs Bench Will Be Terrific in 2015-16

By George Middleton

Jun 8, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward

Boris Diaw

(33) reacts with guard Patty Mills (8) in the second half against the Miami Heat in game two of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs lost Marco Belinelli, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, and Aron Baynes. That is lots of bench production. Who did the Spurs get to replace them?

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Spurs signed David West to a veteran minimum contract, inexplicably. The 34-year old veteran isn’t the all-star he was five seasons ago, but he clearly left money on the table. Even if he wanted to leave the Pacers, whom he had a $12.2 million player option with, he could’ve gotten around $10 million a season somewhere else. The Spurs worked their magic and added a player who averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists for incredibly cheap. West will likely come off the bench as Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge will start.

The Spurs traded a future second-round pick for Kings point guard Ray McCallum. McCallum averaged 7.4 points and 2.8 assists, but the numbers don’t fully tell the story. In 30 starts he averaged 11.2 points and 4.3 assists. The 24-year old guard has the potential to at least emerge into a good bench player. He is explosive and is good at attacking the basket. McCallum is a nice cheap option to replace Cory Joseph, who signed for 4-years $30 million with Toronto.

The final new piece is Jonathon Simmons. Simmons is a 6″6, 195-pounds shooting guard that can shoot and defend. Simmons is also a good athlete that plays bigger than his frame. In the D-League with the Austin Spurs, he averaged 15.2 points and 3.7 assists last year. It’s hard to imagine that he will fill Marco Belinelli’s role, but it is not out of the question if he continues to improve.

Next: Who is Jonathon Simmons?

As for the players that are returning, they have Manu Ginobili, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, and Kyle Anderson back. The key name is Anderson, who is dominating summer league play. In seven games, he is averaging 18.7 points and and 6.6 rebounds. If Anderson plays like this in preseason, he will be used off the bench. Anderson brings a lot of upside to the Spurs unlike most bench options the Spurs have, whom are past their primes. He is a terrific passer and a good rebounding small-forward. Imagine him and Diaw on the court at the same time, it’s like having to point-forwards.

The only problem with the Spurs bench is size. Their biggest players are Diaw and West, whom are power-forwards. I can see a scenario where Duncan plays with the bench when Aldridge is out and vice-versa.

Despite not having a true center off the bench, the Spurs will once again have a top bench.

Next: What Ray McCallum Brings To The Spurs?